Eccentric genius Jack White has always possessed a quirky Willy Wonka quality to his many experimental endeavors including sending out singles for Billboard-topping debut solo album Blunderbuss via balloon and creating a triple-layer show poster.
So, when White and former partner Meg tried to play the shortest concert ever in Newfoudland, Canada by performing only one note in the form of a clash of a cymbal and the Guiness Book of World Records people turned down their entry, White was less than thrilled.
“We were in Newfoundland and the idea that I came up with at breakfast was, ‘Let’s play one note today,’” explained White in an interview. “I told Meg as we were getting out of the car. I said, ‘Make sure you grab your cymbal and when you hit the cymbal, grab it so that the note only lasts a millisecond.’”
“I was thinking that afterwards we could contact the Guinness World Records people and see if we could get the record for shortest concert of all time. So we did it, but ultimately they turned us down,” said White. “The thing is, though, that the Guinness book is a very elitist organization. There’s nothing scientific about what they do. They just have an office full of people who decide what a record is and what isn’t.
“Most of the records in there – who has the biggest collection of salt-and-pepper shakers or whatever – are just whatever they want them to be,” White continued. “So with something like the shortest concert of all time, they didn’t think whatever we did was interesting enough to make it a record.”
“I don’t know why they get to decide that, but, you know, they own the book.”
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles